Books: Who's on your shovel list?

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The Independent Culture

The idea of a "bucket list" – the stuff you want to do before you kick the bucket – gained ground after the 2007 film of the same name. Two terminally ill men had a comic/tragic time fulfilling the dreams they'd never got round to.

Tears, laughs, Morgan Freeman – you get the idea. But now there's a new list in town that's probably less likely to be the subject of a schmaltzy Hollywood flick. It's the shovel list, as imagined by Marian Keyes in her new novel The Mystery of Mercy Close, out today.

In the words of her heroine Helen, it works like this: "It's a list of all the people and things I hate so much I want to hit them in the face with a shovel." Much more therapeutic than a bucket list, right?